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This is an auction for THE RIDDLE OF RICHARD PEARSE: THE STORY OF NEW ZEALAND'S PIONEER AVIATOR & INVENTOR by Gordon Ogilvie.

From Wikipedia:

"Richard William Pearse (1877-1953), a New Zealand farmer and inventor, performed pioneering experiments in aviation. Pearse appears to have successfully flown and landed a powered heavier-than-air machine on 31 March 1903, nine months before the Wright brothers. The documentary evidence to support such a claim remains open to interpretation, however, and he does not appear to have developed his aircraft to match the Wrights' achievement of sustained, controlled flight. Pearse himself made contradictory statements which for many years led the few who knew of his feats to accept 1904 as the date of his first flight. The lack of any chance of industrial development, such as spurred the Wrights to develop their machine, seems to have suppressed any recognition of Pearse's achievements ... Pearse made several attempts to fly in 1902, but due to insufficient engine-power he achieved no more than brief hops. The following year he redesigned his engine to incorporate double-ended cylinders with two pistons each ... Verifiable eyewitnesses describe his crashing into a hedge on two separate occasions during 1903. His monoplane must have risen to a height of at least 3 metres on each occasion. Good evidence exists that on 31 March 1903 Pearse achieved a powered, though poorly controlled, flight of several hundred metres. Pearse himself said that he had made a powered takeoff, "but at too low a speed for [his] controls to work"..."

More on Wikipedia.

Paperback 1994.

264 pages + photographs.

Very good condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95 or $6.95 (tracked mail). If you are on rural delivery and want tracked mail, the shipping cost will be $9.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston North following the auction.

Payment within seven days, please.
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Shipping options

  • tracked mail$6.95
  • tracked mail for Rural Delivery (RD)$9.95
  • NZ post$4.95
  • Seller allows pick-ups
  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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  • Cash